Gamification at work

Can having more fun at work improve our effectiveness? Åke Nygren explores tools and apps that could put the play into work.

Page 1 of 2 next >>

We often ask ourselves "how can I be more effective at work?"

When we feel overwhelmed by tasks that seem to invade every moment of our working life, and even our free time, we long for a killer application that could ease our stressful situation and give us peace of mind.

Lately, I have tried to look at this problem from a different angle by asking myself "How can I make work less boring?"

We all know that when we are motivated we can be more focused and less painfully aware of tasks on our 'to do' list.  We can work with less stress and more satisfaction.  And if we are able to actually have fun, well, then anything is possible, isn't it?

So, with this having-fun-while-working perspective in mind, I have been digging for some online tools that either already add some fun to work or have the potential to fall into that category in a very near future.  All these tools have one thing in common: gamification.

Wikipedia defines gamification as:  "the use of game play mechanics for non-game applications.... Gamification works by making technology more engaging, and by encouraging desired behaviors, taking advantage of humans' psychological predisposition to engage in gaming. The technique can encourage people to perform chores that they ordinarily consider boring, such as completing surveys, shopping, or reading web sites."

Geolocal services as vehicles for storytelling, meaning and serendipity

With geolocal services like Foursquare, Gowalla and Facebook Places, we can start seeing our business travel as an exciting part of an intriguing collaborative game. Checking-in to an inherently boring place and earning a pin reward can, if we want it to, transform that spot into a haven of adventure and storytelling. Sounds crazy? Well, maybe the checking-in-to-places thing has not yet reached its full potential.  At the moment, we might ask ourselves: ok, I've checked in, now what?  However, even though there still seems to be much missing in terns of 'meaning' I think that location based services have a promising story telling potential well worth exploring.  Maybe they can help us to see our everyday work in a different light.

Page 1 of 2 next >>

Related Articles

A new app enables 'commuters' to drive at speed across - and even crash from - the Bay Bridge.

Posted 19 May 2011